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Rate Unawatuna


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Unawatuna Swell Statistics, May: Surf with Light or Offshore Winds

This image shows only the swells directed at Unawatuna that coincided with light winds or offshore conditions through a typical May and is based upon 2696 predictions, one every 3 hours. The direction of the spokes show where quality surf generating swell comes from. Five colours illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell happens.

The diagram suggests that the most common swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was SSW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the WSW. The chart at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. For example, swells larger than 1.5 feet (0.5m) coincided with good wind conditions 52% of the time, equivalent to 16 days. Open sea swells exceeding >3m (>10ft) are unlikely to arise in a normal May but 21% of the time we expect swell in the range 2-3m (6.5-10ft) 21%, equivalent to (7 days). Taking into account the fraction of these swells that coincided with predicted offshore winds, and given the fact that Unawatuna is slightly protected from open water swells, we estimate that clean surf can be found at Unawatuna about 52% of the time and that surf is blown out by onshore wind 40% of the time. This is means that we expect 29 days with waves in a typical May, of which 16 days should be surfable.

IMPORTANT: Beta version feature! Swell heights are open water values from NWW3. There is no attempt to model near-shore effects. Coastal wave heights will generally be less, especially if the break does not have unobstructed exposure to the open ocean.